Saturday 1 August 2020

Biblical Studies Carnival for July 2020

Biblical Studies Carnival # 173,
An odd, deficient, odious, but balanced prime.*
July 2020. 

I, your host, did a carnival in February of this year just around Mardi Gras. I closed that carnival with the Quartet for the End of Time. Little did we know what was coming our way, though we had seen early warning signs. Let this carnival be heralding the beginning of the end of the disaster that is upon us. Let it be that we realize how critical is our support of each other, our 'mutual responsibility and interdependence', and how foolish is the thought, and all its attendant actions, that freedom belongs to the individual at the expense of the whole body.

Fun? Enjoyment? Carnival atmosphere? Gaiety? Song and Dance? Unlikely, but let's see if some Immersive Distraction is worth the try.

Michael Avioz writes on translation of place names in Targum Onkelos which
... became so popular in Babylonian rabbinic circles that the Babylonian Talmud requires Jews to read it every week together with the weekly portion, in the law known as שניים מקרא ואחד תרגום, “[read] scripture twice and the translation once” (b. Ber. 8a).
Ariel Kopilovitz explores through a review of the war against Midian how the priestly Torah was compiled.

Abdulla Galadari explores the intertextual connections of the Quran with the Shema.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen explores the region of Ar-Moab.

The Velveteen Rabbi comments on man, woman, and vows in parashat Matot.

Nyasha Junior reimagines Hagar in her book on Blackness and the Bible.

Lawrence Hoffman sends an open letter to his students outlining 5 valuable principles to be learned from 'tradition' and putting them in the context of Amalek and the current stresses on social order.
Thirty years ago, while researching an article on the subject, I asked my teacher and colleague, the late Harry M. Orlinsky, to define “tradition” and he replied, “Tradition is just a lie going back at least a century.”
Your host continues to dig into the music embedded in the text of the Hebrew Bible. Here is an English arrangement and a Hebrew performance of Genesis 22.

On the governance of the Body, Pete Ens begins the month with using the Bible to support ...
The stories of Israelite kings match the Trump presidency remarkably well. And the condemnation of their actions by biblical authors is persistent to the point of being tedious.
Elkanah and his wives (I Samuel)
Laura Quick considers the bed of Og the King of Bashan. (Remembering Remnants of Giants, last seen in 2019.)

The Medieval Manuscripts blog shows some Old Testament passages from the Rochester Bible.

Francis Landy introduces the Prologue to Deutero-Isaiah.
The seven Sabbaths following Tisha B’Av, the fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temple, are known as שבעה/שב דנחמתא “the seven [Sabbaths] of Consolation.” All the haftarot are taken from Isaiah 40-66, the work of an anonymous exilic prophet (or prophets), who expresses hope for the future rebuilding of Judea and repatriation of its people.
Doug Chaplin gives us a draft prayer card inspired by Jeremiah 12:1 as used by Gerard Manley Hopkins, in his poem “send my roots rain.

Jim Gordon continues his poetry series with A poem for the Sabbath,  by Wendell Berry, a little different from Psalm 92.

Carmen Joy Imes praises the laments and imprecatory Psalms.

Mark Whiting writes on penitential wisdom in the penitential psalms.

The Hebrew versions of the five poems in the book of Lamentations are riddled with debated readings... It's not very often that Lamentations as poetry gets a mention.

A real rabbi now with greying whiskers, and also a poet, Rachel Barenblat, teaches about feelings in this time of destruction as the period of  approach to Tisha B'av.
I'm finding it difficult to face Tisha b'Av this year, in part because every time I read the newspaper feels like Tisha b'Av. There's mourning and grief and loss everywhere I look.
Ah in such solitude sits the city. Abundant with people she is as a widow.
Abundant from the nations, noble among the provinces, she is into forced service.
Andrew Perriman continues a four year conversation on redefining Daniel.

Is there a Unity amidst this diversity. A question by Anthony Ferguson on the state of the text of the Old Testament.
I am going to discuss the non-aligned manuscripts. I hope to show that these manuscripts are largely secondary and dependent on an MT-like text.
Hebrew language: Your host is beginning a series on explaining the transformation of pointed text into 'spelling lacking niqqud' here and here.

Jonathan Orr-Stav addresses the difficulties of rendering the cantillation in standard characters.

In these days of deception, you might enjoy this note on clothing from David Curwin of Balashon.

Archaeology: Jim Davila links to a report on seals that may show more about the gradual resettlement and bureaucracy in Jerusalem after its destruction in 586 BCE. He also points out a deep excavation under Jerusalem.

Matthew Susnow explores the ancient temples with an essay on What is a ‘House of a God’?

Airton José da Silva links to articles on the administrative storage centre from the time of Hezekiah and Manasseh.

Ian Paul offers an essay on 'good'.
for all the wondrous joy of this claim about goodness, Genesis 1 chooses not to say ‘it was perfect’.
Canonical Edges
James McGrath reports from day 2 of the Enoch Seminar on the origins of evil.

Day 3 continues here and here from Jim Davila. Day 4 concludes with a response from Jim Davila and a plug for 1 Enoch as Christian Scripture.

In James McGrath's report we read of:
degeneration of the generations, i.e. that evil doesn’t come into the world in one fell swoop but gradually over time, and involved(s) groups rather than individuals,
James Tabor reflects on the good and the ugly.

Andrew Perriman draws us into cosmic thinking and then back to political reality.

If you are hungry, watch this.  Making 2000 year old bread. Absolutely marvelous technique.

New Testament
Having mentioned targum for Tanakh, I am reminded of targuman. Christian Brady is now very active in parish work, and posts on drinking the cup.

Timothy Lewis asks why some mothers are included and not others in Matthew's first chapter.

Bosco Peters continues his Matthew in Slow Motion, Episode 33.

Ian Paul writes on the lectionary and the parable of the sower.

Jim Gordon writes on invincible ignorance.
"I don't know how to explain to you that you should care for other people." (Dr Anthony Fauci)
Marg Mowczko meditates on meekness in warhorses.

York Minster - The Harvest of the Earth and the Vintage of the Wrath of God
In an essay on John as the mundane gospel, Paul Anderson demonstrates now much mundane detail is in John's Gospel.

Trinities posts a podcast with Daniel Boyarin on the prologue to John's gospel.

Christopher Page continues a series of posts, #86, (and counting) on living with Jesus through the words of John's Gospel.

Michael Bird cites Harold Attridge on the beloved disciple.

Adele Reinhartz vs. Chris Keith and James Crossley, an online discussion of her book addressing the thesis of Lou Martyn on 'being cast out of the covenant'.

Gary Greenberg posts on the case for a proto-gospel and the healing of a blind man in Bethsaida. (via FB and Dr Johnson Thomaskutty.

And here is a lecture on the signs in the gospel of John from the Church of South India.

Jason Staples writes on 'Reconstituting Israel: Restoration Eschatology in Early Judaism and Paul’s Gentile Mission.'. Second installment here.

Andrew Perriman puts glossolalia into a historical framework that "Jerusalem faces a catastrophic judgment".
The gift of speaking in other tongues signifies the extension of Joel’s prophecy beyond geographical Israel to include all Jews who looked to Jerusalem as the centre of their religious life and practice. The city and its spectacular temple would soon be destroyed.
Eyal Regev asks if Christians mourned the destruction of the temple.

And if you have forgotten what prosopological means, here's a reminder.

James Tabor reminds us with a paper from the 1980s about Paul's words on apotheosis.

Christopher Page seems to double this thought with his mid-month 100th pandemic post on Jesus.

And to continue the subject, Ian Paul asks what to think of AI. (Homo Deus?)

What's in the translator's choices of gloss? Brent Niedergall posts on temptation vs trial.

Brian Small notes that Cyril's lost commentary on Hebrews has been found.

CSCO has a number of notes on the Oxford Handbook of Pauline Studies.

Phillip Long continues his series on Revelation with questions on 'the son of man' and 'the harvests' and 'the final visions'.

James Tabor reflects on washed in the blood of the lamb.

For another take on Revelation as an orchestral score, and with respect to more recent historical contexts, see Ian Paul on the present crisis.

Derek Demars argues that Revelation is a musical!

Marc Goodacre teaches by example about fatigue
... one can see an author making characteristic changes to a source at the beginning of a passage, only to lapse into the wording of the source later on.
Jim West has posted Larry Schiffman's lecture on the DSS here.

Airton José da Silva announces a new Bible.
Brazilian translation of the famous French “Traduction Oecuménique de la Bible” (TOB) (according to the 12th ed., 2010). It is the model of ecumenical translations, because of the interfaith composition of its collaborators and because it even adapts, for the Old Testament, the Jewish sequence of biblical books. It is an excellent study bible, with rich notes and many references of parallel texts.
And here is an insight into the culture of Biblical Studies in Brazil.

Brent Niedergall points to a paper on the CBGM as material for the upcoming virtual SBL annual meeting.

And for more on CBGM, see Brent Nongbri's article here.

The cosmologist Bishop of Rhode Island, Nicholas Knisely, expresses a hope that we can go beyond our self-images, on his blog, Entangled States. More than a little uncertainty in the referent in the blog name.

James McGrath writes on Academic genealogies.

Ken Schenck continues his review of the works of his doctoral advisor, Jimmy Dunn, finishing on the twelfth day.

Helen Bond remembers Jimmy Dunn.

James Tabor traces his history of learning Greek from age 17 to 74. This spring chicken explains how 'older is not better', and that Westcott and Hort are seen by some today as part of 'a “plot from hell” to destroy God’s truth'. (See also a later version here.) This post on his 'first book' is too good to pass up.

The first week of July presented several posts which seemed to be strong on issues peripherally related to the Bible, but grounded in the questions raised by our persistence with its content: So a note by Ian Paul on the priesthood (presbyter), running the risk of self-justification but showing the stuff of Cranmer, and on the meaninglessness of life in response to facing death, by Christopher Page, and on manufacturing belief, a documentary in which many famous appear, noted by Bart Ehrman. There is even a commentary by OUP on being prepared. Nicely juxtaposed is Phillip Long's note for the day on the winepress.

Bart Ehrman has a guest post by Cavan Concannon on the Bible Museum. Not to be outdone, Tyndale house is starting a new podcast series on Trusting the Bible.

Westar Think Tank Fellow, Terrence Dean interviews Nontombi Naomi Tutu: Five current questions.
On issues of gender in Biblical Studies, note this discussion with the title, Sarah Rollens and Candida Moss vs Chris Keith here.

In a study that is both poignant and provocative, Levison takes readers back five hundred years before Jesus, where he discovers history’s first grasp of the Holy Spirit as a personal agent. The prophet Haggai and the author of Isaiah 56–66, in their search for ways to grapple with the tragic events of exile and to articulate hope for the future, took up old exodus traditions of divine agents―pillars of fire, an angel, God’s own presence―and fused them with belief in God’s Spirit. ... Like most (if not all?) good New Testament ideas, the Old Testament got there first.
In Memoriam: Alister McGrath has written an obituary for James Packer, certainly a man of some influence and who was known by many in the far west of Canada including former blogger, Suzanne McCarthy most recently of BLT, not just a sandwich. (I knew I could get a bit more poetry in this carnival somehow. I'd rather have good poetry than bad tattoos with lots of ads any day.) ... August is coming up, not April, that cruelest month ...

Next Carnivals
Phil is always looking for volunteers. Fun or not, spending a month actually reading the bloggy scholars and the scholarly blogs is an education... Occasionally, people actually suggest posts too. Chris Brady began the month with a post comparing Facebook to the old blogging community with vigorous discussion of issues in the comments and among the blogs. He also announces the upcoming virtual SBL.
* Footnote: (For the numerologists.)

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